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Is Your Book Cover Killing Your Sales? Part 1 #indiebooks

04 Jun

Cain's_Coven_Cover_for_KindleIs your book cover killing your sales? Mine is. How do you find out?

Recently I shopped with my niece for a black leather jacket. It’s spring in Holland, so parkas–Dutch for jacket– are in abundant supply at the shops. We’re gearing up for summer storms, cool mornings and evenings, and rain of all shapes, sizes and directions. The classic black leather jacket hunt followed the size, cut, and price criteria my niece set forth.

Some of us are also stock piling our summer reading list. The criteria for shopping will include favorite genres, authors, and prices. In the midst of the search though, the covers and blurbs tantalize readers to buy or borrow, to reach out with hand, to click the button.

The cover is not only a billboard for the book, but, in a sense, the first page of the story, because it is here that the book can communicate a little of the style and mood of the tale inside…A well-designed cover is the first assurance the reader has that the book is of a high quality, both in content and delivery. The cover can scare away a customer or lure them in. Bad covers, with pixelated images, watermarks clearly visible, text badly formatted or aligned, and so forth, suggest to the reader that the interior of the book will be equally sloppy. (More from Jo Linsdell at writersandauthors.info)

How do I know my cover isn’t working? Last fall I signed two books up for Reading Deals Reviews. The way their site works is that authors and small publishers pay $20 to list their book with a large community of reviewers. Reviewers get weekly offers of what’s available to read for free in exchange for an honest review. The listing is tailored by genre, so as a writer you know folks interested in your type of story are seeing your cover. The jacket fits and the price is right for the reader, will they click the button?

Each week an email revealed whether readers in the genre were lured in by the covers of the two book. Below is an update from November.

Here is your order update for your order of 10 reviews for the book Survive Little Buddy (Iron Curtain Memoirs 1-3) that was placed on August 26, 2015:

15 readers have requested and downloaded your book. (The requested number is higher than the number of reviews you ordered in order to ensure fulfillment of the order.)

7 reviews have come in so far.

Thank you so much for you order!

– The Reading Deals Team

Shortly after Christmas, all the reviews for Survive Little Buddy were in. Thank you very much.

Flash forward to this week and check out the update for my first novel.

Here is your order update for your order of 10 reviews for the book Cain’s Coven (Begotten Bloods Book 1) that was placed on August 26, 2015:

7 readers have requested and downloaded your book.

5 reviews have come in so far.

Huh. Kind of disappointing, to say the least. Worse yet, those 7 readers have had their downloads since (drum roll please)…November.

What I’m hoping is that when the book (series) get all new cover(s) (and series branding), I can change the cover with Readers Deal and see if that makes the difference. With one change at a time, first cover then blurb, I can experiment with the variables and report back to you.

Here are a few additional resources you might want to check out as you contemplate your next book’s cover or updating the one you already have.

Simple Tips for Hiring a Book Cover Designer from positivewriter.com

3 Foolproof Strategies for Designing Fiction Book Covers (with video tutorials for each strategy) from creativindie.com

24 Extreme YA Book Cover Makeovers from epicreads.com

 

Coming next…French Tongue Twisters, Scottish Poetry and Skat

____________________

Kristin King is an author and publisher. She is most passionate about her family and her projects with Future Hope Africa which is experimenting in crowdfunding Congo VBS. Check it out.

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5 responses to “Is Your Book Cover Killing Your Sales? Part 1 #indiebooks

  1. kristinkingauthor

    June 7, 2016 at 10:48 am

    You’re right. That’s true, but the people receiving the notices about my title among others in the same genre are not choosing mine. The reason most folks join the site is because they want free reads and enjoy writing book reviews. The blurb could be partly at fault. Genre appropriate book covers are very important to sales, and mine doesn’t fit the bill…yet.

     
  2. mrsbvdyche

    June 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Seems like a small sample for making a book cover decision. But, I haven’t tried the site so I don’t know for sure if it’s accurate or not.  We have found that the book covers for the first book or two really do make a difference but, after that, if there are more books in the series their covers don’t seem to matter as much. And up until recently there were some awful covers on some of the later Plague Wars book. Dave finally decided to finish having Jun redo the rest of the covers just for cohesiveness.  For sure a BAD cover can hurt sales. Unless you write really “blue” scifi. Scifi readers seem to expect some bad covers. *shudder* Dave’s friend Brian still makes his own and some of them are pretty terrible. But, in that genre, he make close to 7 figures now. Go figure.

    One thing we do is look at the covers in a thumbnail size because THAT’S where it makes the most difference. What do the book covers in your genre look like in thumbnail size? What would make yours stand out in that same size while still looking great in full size? You probably already know this, though. Did you already find a cover designer for your covers? Beth

    From: Kristin King Author To: mrsvandyche@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, June 3, 2016 11:31 PM Subject: [New post] Is Your Book Cover Killing Your Sales? Part 1 #indiebooks #yiv0504889971 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0504889971 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0504889971 a.yiv0504889971primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0504889971 a.yiv0504889971primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0504889971 a.yiv0504889971primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0504889971 a.yiv0504889971primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0504889971 WordPress.com | kristinkingauthor posted: “Is your book cover killing your sales? Mine is. How do you find out?Recently I shopped with my niece for a black leather jacket. It’s spring in Holland, so parkas–Dutch for jacket– are in abundant supply at the shops. We’re gearing up for summer sto” | |

     
  3. kristinkingauthor

    June 4, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Thanks Dale & Rosie! Looking good as a thumbnail can be complicated for a series. Getting the book title, author, series name, and book # all readable on thumbnail is a challenge we haven’t quite overcome. Forget about taglines.

     
  4. dalecooper57

    June 4, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Thanks for this, a most interesting point.

     
  5. Rosie Amber

    June 4, 2016 at 5:43 am

    A good book cover is vital in today’s online buying markets and it needs to look good as a thumbnail as well for those skimming through pages of books on places like Amazon.

     

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